"A great thriller with a powerful message"
London electrician Dan Innes is stunned when his
estranged wife informs him that the British embassy in
Bangkok called about their adult daughter. Neither Innes
has heard from Charlie in two years, but now they learn she
has been arrested as a drug smuggler in Thailand and
languishes in Chiang Mai jail, probably awaiting death.
When Dan and Charlie last talked two years ago, they
brawled and left their once close relationship strained and
probably over. However, Dan realizes he still loves his
rebellious Charlie and decides to go to Asia to free his
daughter. Shockingly at least to Dan, his evangelical son
Phil and a pub quiz teammate join him on the trek. The
safe world of London vanishes almost from the moment the
trio arrives at Chiang Mai jail. They begin to fight for
their lives as well as that of Charlie along the perilous
the Thai-Myanmar border where opium is king and vapid stray
westerners are cannon fodder.
Though a non-stop adventure thriller that hammers home
the atrocities along the Thai-Myanmar border, SMOKING POPPY
stands way above the field because of the deep look at
relationships. The story line is loaded with gripping
action as the frightened but courageous Londoners fight to
remain alive to rescue someone that they believe most
likely gone over the mental edge. However, the key that
makes this more than another thriller is the insightful
look at love especially estranged and what is truly
friendship (quiz teammates at a pub or someone willing to
risk everything?). Even the title provides a double
meaning to readers who will rejoice in award winning Graham
Joyce's astounding tale.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted December 30, 2001